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The 14 BEST Peak District walks using public transport

The 14 BEST Peak District walks using public transport

Featuring the best Peak District walks from train stations and bus stops for families

On sunny weekends and school holidays, parking in the Peak District can often be an absolute nightmare, and we always advise arriving before 10am to guarantee a parking spot.

But if you want to avoid the parking dramas, why not ride a bus or train to the start of your family walk? If anything, it’s the environmentally-friendly option! Plus, for those of us who live in the country, a ride on a bus or train is always a huge novelty.

Whilst public transport links within the National Park may seem limited, with a little bit of forward planning (checking timetables) you may be surprised how many options there actually are. Indeed, the Hope Valley rail line that runs between Sheffield and Manchester offers five stops within the National Park, and there are regular buses that run between Castleton, Bakewell and Buxton. There is also the Peak Sightseer, an open-top hop-on-hop-off bus that runs between Chatsworth House, Bakewell, and Calver every 30 minutes.

Here we share the 10 best Peak District walks from train stations and bus stops from the 80+ walks featured on this site. From short, pram-friendly walks to an epic multi-day hike, there’s something here for everyone. As always, links are provided to the full step-by-step walk guide (with photos) and you can also download a pdf version of the walk for offline navigation.

25% off bus travel

Peak District Kids readers can get 25% off bus travel with Hulleys of Baslow. A family day tickets is £12 (up to 5 passengers). Just download the voucher below. Then either print it out or have it handy on your phone to show your friendly bus driver when you board.

Go Keyless Voucher for bus travel

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission.

If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds if visiting over sunny weekends or school holidays. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.

Blacka Moor in winter

Safe winter walking tips

During the winter months, it’s important to be extra prepared and safe when out walking and adventuring in the Peak District. The weather can change so quickly, especially on the exposed escarpments, and we don’t want you to get caught out.

Read our top tips for safe winter walking with the kids.

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PARKING INFORMATION: Please do not rely solely on the postcode for parking directions. In the National Park, a postcode can cover a large area. Postcodes are only provided as guidance. Please either use the Google Maps point or what3words, which are provided on every walk guide.

Do check out our top tips for hiking with young kids, as well as our essential items to take on a family hike in the Peak District.

Printable downloads feature photo

Download and print out our walking guides ready for your family walk. There are over 80 downloadable walk guides available, and these include all the main Peak District family walks, pram-friendly walks, and toddler walks.

Each printable download is just £1.50, whether it’s a short 1km stroll or an epic walk up Kinder Scout.

Map of the best Peak District walks using public transport

1. Longshaw Estate – 3.7km

Longshaw Estate walk guide
Printable download

Longshaw Estate walk - pram friendly

Longshaw Estate is a beautiful expanse of parkland, moors and ancient woodland, close to Padley Gorge. You’ll find yourself wanting to return again and again with so many different routes to try out. It’s great for kids with dens to play in, tree stumps to jump on, logs to balance on, and plenty of open space for them to burn some energy.

The flat, well-surfaced paths make for a perfect Peak District pram friendly walk. This is also a good walk option for the wetter months if you want to avoid the muddier walks.

Starting and finishing at the National Trust Wooden Pole car park, the walk follows the woodland path onto the open parkland. Allow some time for the kids to explore near the pond and play in Boggart Burrow. 

Stop for a drink from the Croft Cabin or Longshaw Café before heading across the grassland back to the car park.

Longshaw Estate walk map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702 

2. River Derwent walk from Curbar to Froggatt – 4km

River Derwent walk guide from Curbar to Froggatt
Printable download

River Derwent walk from Curbar to Froggatt

This easy-going and flat River Derwent walk begins by the The Bridge Inn, Curbar, and leads along one side of the river to Frogatt Bridge, returning on the other side of the river, following a clockwise loop. It’s a very pretty walk; on a clear day the imposing boulders along Curbar and Frogatt Edges are in view, and in spring the river banks are covered in daffodils and wild garlic. Half way is Calver Weir, a Grade 2 listed structure, built in the 19th century to provide water to power cotton spinning at Calver Mill.

You can shorten this walk by just doing the loop from Curbar to the A625 road crossing, just after the weir. This is a 2.4km loop.

Unfortunately, despite the even, flat footpaths, this River Derwent walk is not pram friendly. There are very narrow gates to pass through, and a steep stone steps at one of the bridges. Instead, take little ones in a carrier. Click here to check out our pram friendly walks.

River Derwent walk from Curbar to Frogatt map
 © Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

3. Hathersage to Grindleford Station – 4.3km

Hathersage to Grindleford Station walk guide
Printable download

YHA Hathersage to Grindleford Station walk

This is an easy-going and relatively flat walk along the River Derwent and through woodland from Hathersage to Grindleford, as you weave around the railway track. Remind yourself to look back behind you on this walk to appreciate Win Hill and the Great Ridge.

Whilst this walk starts from YHA Hathersage, you can turn left out of the station along the main road to meet up with the route to Grindleford, or pop into the village first for a drink or bite to eat, before walking over to the YHA.

Make sure you have cash on you to treat yourself to a drink and hot chips at Grindleford Station Café.

© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

4. Hartington to Beresford Dale – 4.3km

Hartington walk guide
Printable download

Hartington walk

Starting from the Hartington Farm Shop and Café (one of the best cafes for a hot chocolate in the Peak District) this short and picturesque Hartington walk leads you down to Beresford Dale where the River Dove meanders through. Make sure you pack a torch, as half way along this walk there is a cave to explore, which includes a short walk through tunnel! You may even find some ‘Ice Age cave paintings’ (which is what our 6 year old called them). Although do note that the tunnel through is very narrow and really only for small children.

Hartington walk map
 © Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

5. Hathersage Stepping Stones – 5.3km

Hathersage Stepping Stones walk guide
Printable download

Please note that the footpath across Hathersage Stepping Stone is currently CLOSED and impassable due to storm damage dislodging boulders and all stepping stones being submerged.

Hathersage stepping stones walk

This almost-5km circular Peak District family walk from Hathersage is easy and relatively flat, and a much quieter alternative to Dovedale Stepping Stones.

The walk mostly follows the footpaths along the River Derwent, through shady trees backed by open fields. The stepping stone themselves are a little trickier than the Dovedale ones, so take care if you’re unsteady on your feet; kids under 5 will need a helping hand as their legs aren’t quite long enough to reach across to each stone.

It’s a very pretty walk, and the reward at the end is a hot chocolate in one of Hathersage’s cafes!

The walk guide starts from a car park just around the corner from Hathersage Station.

Hathersage Stepping Stones walk map
 © Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

6. Grindleford Station to Padley Gorge, Owler Tor, and Mother Cap – 5.8km

Grindleford walk guide
Printable download

Over Owler Tor

Direct from Grindleford train station, this classic Peak District family walk shows off the fantastic natural diversity of the National Park; from the magical mossy woodland of Padley Gorge, to the sweeping views of Surprise View and Mother Cap with boulders beckoning to be scrambled on. With so many natural play areas, this circular Grindleford walk will easily fill a whole day despite this only being 5.8km.

This Grindleford walk starts by leading you through the twisted mossy trees of Padley Gorge with the sound of rushing water as your soundtrack. It’s a magical setting with mushrooms to find and trees to climb, plus the water to play in. Then walking away from Padley Gorge you are led past Owler Tor, with views back down to Longshaw Estate, and onto the rocky outcrops of Surprise View and the domineering Mother Cap; this section is boulder climbing galore! A rocky path then leads you down to Millstone Edge with superb views over to Hathersage, Stanage Edge, Mam Tor, and beyond, before heading back down into Padley Gorge and returning to the train station for hot chips from Grindleford Station Café.

This is one of our more challenging Peak District family walks as the terrain is rarely flat and most paths are uneven underfoot. But take your time and embrace the stops for play, as this walk really does show off some of the best bits of the Peak District.

© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

7. Cave Dale – 6km

Cave Dale walk guide
Printable download

Cave Dale walk

Perched high above Castleton, on the opposite side to Mam Tor, are the ruins and singular standing tower of Peveril Castle. Built by Henry II in 1176, it is now owned by English Heritage, and you can pay to go inside to explore what’s left of the tower and walls. Alternatively, you can get some pretty good views of Peveril Castle on our Cave Dale walk.

Starting in the picturesque village of Castleton, our circular Cave Dale walk takes you past Peveril Castle and up through the rocky, steep path of Cave Dale to meet the Limestone Way at the top. The views on a clear day here are beautiful. The walk then circles round back into the village, past Peak Cavern (aka “Devil’s Arse”).

It’s a steady climb to the top of Cave Dale and the footpath is rocky and uneven underfoot. Plus after wet weather, a small waterfall flows down the footpath, so waterproof hiking boots are recommended. The last section of this walk is very steep downhill and you may need to do some ‘bum sliding’ (this is obviously a technical hiking term), so it’s also a good idea to have waterproof trousers with you.

Cave Dale walk OS map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702 

8. Win Hill – 6.2km

Win Hill walk guide
Printable download

Win Hill trig point

The views from Win Hill (462m) over Ladybower Reservoir and the Great Ridge in the Dark Peak are superb on a clear day. Whilst the direct route up to the summit is rather steep, this circular Win Hill walk allows for a steadier incline through the pine forest, more suitable young families. There is, however, a steep decline from the summit; whilst kids will probably bound down, parents may want to use walking poles, and it may be tricky for those with little ones in carriers.

This Win Hill walk is super fun, with woodland explorations, incredible views, boulders to scramble up to the summit, and a family snap at the Win Hill Trig point is a must! Starting from Heatherdene car park, this walk crosses over Ladybower Dam, meaning that you will also pass the Ladybower plugholes (technically known as shaft spillways), which drain water when the reservoir becomes full after heavy rains.

Make sure you have change for parking at Heatherdene car park (the machine doesn’t take cards). And on weekends and school holidays, arrive before 10am to get a parking space, as this car park does get exceptionally busy.

Win Hill walk map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

9. Ashford-in-the-Water walk to Monsal Head – 6.2km

Ashford-in-the-Water to Monsal Head walk guide
Printable download

Ashford-in-the-Water to Monsal Head walk

Ashford-in-the-Water is a picture-postcard village in the heart of the Peak District and this circular walk leads you up to Monsal Head and back. This is a longer walk that the Monsal Head walk detailed above.

Combine this walk with a pub lunch half way round at The Stables Bar at Monsal Head, or at the Bulls Head in Ashford-in-the-Water afterwards. Kids will love walking through the 400 metre long Headstone Tunnel, and the views from Monsal Head are fantastic. There’s also a playground at the end of the walk, if your little ones still have energy to burn.

© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

10. Tissington to Parwich – 6.3km

Tissington walk to Parwich guide
Printable download

The village of Tissington, where this beautiful Peak District family walk begins and ends, is one of the prettiest in the National Park. Centred around the grand Tissington Hall are a collection of limestone cottages, no less than six ancient wells, a Church that dates back to Saxon times, a tea shop selling vegan treats, and a duck pond. This is also where the Tissington Trail passes through; a popular Peak District cycle route for families.

This circular Tissington walk to Parwich follows along the Tissington Trail for a short while, but then leads out to open farmland as you head to Parwich, another pretty Peak District village. The views along the way are beautiful. It’s worth timing your walk to arrive in Parwich in time for lunch at the Sycamore Inn, before continuing your walk back to Tissington. There’s also a good playground in Parwich.

© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

11. Bakewell to Haddon Hall – 8.4km

Bakewell to Haddon Hall walk guide
Printable download

Bakewell to Haddon Hall walk

A picturesque circular walk from the historic market town of Bakewell along the River Wye to the grand Haddon Hall estate, returning via open farmland and through Bakewell cemetery. Despite the town being a tourist hotspot, this circular Bakewell to Haddon Hall walk leads you away from the hustle and bustle, along quiet footpaths.

Kids will enjoy paddling and playing around the streams and river, and the views towards Haddon Hall as you climb up towards Over Haddon are very pretty.

Haddon Hall is a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12th century, and is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567. If you would like to go into Haddon Hall and have a look around, you need to purchase a ticket (visit the Haddon Hall website). Children under 16 are free, but adult tickets are £23.90. There’s a 30% discount for Derbyshire residents.

There’s also a trig to bag on this walk – Noton Barn Farm trigpoint. However, it is on private land and you need the landowner’s permission to access it. But you can (just about) touch it from the other side of the wall (be careful of the double-barbed wire); we just use a stick to bag this trig.

Bakewell to Haddon Hall OS map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

12. Bakewell to Chatsworth – 10km

Bakewell to Chatsworth walk guide
Printable download

Chatsworth with kids

Our picturesque Bakewell to Chatsworth walk is one of our longer family walks in the Peak District. It will lead you through pretty woodland to the sweeping open pastures of the Chatsworth Estate, where you’ll perhaps spot deer and sheep, then along the River Derwent, before heading to Edensor for cake at the tea room, and back over to Bakewell where you can perhaps finish with a Bakewell Tart or a pint of local ale in one of Bakewell’s (no less than) nine pubs. This is perhaps our personal favourite Bakewell walk.

The walk can be muddy and slippy through the woodland, so please wear appropriate footwear, and there are steep climbs in places. Allow a good five hours to enjoy the walk with kids, but in the summer months, this walk can easily fill a whole day.

If you’re based in Bakewell for a Peak District holiday, this is definitely one of the top things to do in Bakewell.

Bakewell to Chatsworth walk map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

13. Kinder Scout from Edale – 12.7km

Kinder Scout walk from Edale guide
Printable download

Kinder Plateau

Kinder Scout is arguably the most impressive place to walk in the Peak District and many people have this on their bucket list. The views from the plateau on a clear day are incredible and the landscape feels wild and untouched.

This Kinder Scout from Edale walk takes a circular route starting with the climb up Grindsbrook Clough, then along the Kinder Plateau passing Pym Chair and Noe Stool. The route then meets up with the Pennine Way and follows this all the way back down into Edale via Jacob’s Ladder to The Old Nags Head (where we wholeheartedly recommend popping in for a burger and pint / Fruit Shoot to reward your efforts).

Please only attempt this Kinder Scout walk with young kids if they are used to hiking. This is a challenging walk with some scrambling required in places, and once you’re up on the Kinder Plateau, it’s very exposed.

© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

14. Edale to Grindleford – 23.7km (over three days)

Edale to Grindleford multi-day walk guide
Printable download for DAY 1
Printable download for DAY 2
Printable download for DAY 3

Edale Station to YHA Castleton Losehill walk

If you’ve managed a few long day hikes with your kids in the Peak District (such a Kinder Scout or Bamford Edge), how about taking on a multi-day family hike?

This 3-day Edale to Grindleford walk offers stunning views every day and stops at Peak District YHAs enroute. The distance covered each day is very doable of families, taking an easy-going pace to include The Great Ridge, Win Hill trig point, the River Derwent, and Hathersage Stepping Stones.

Staying at YHAs means that there is a hot shower and bed waiting for you at the end of each day (no need to carry camping gear) and a pub not too far away for dinner (no need to cook). Plus, the YHA breakfasts are a pretty amazing start to your next day of hiking with an all-you-can-eat cooked breakfast and kids under 10 eat free. So food-wise, all you really need to carry is snacks and water!

Also, this walk starts and ends at train stations, so is ideal for families who want to use public transport. Indeed on day 2 and day 3, the walk weaves around the Hope Valley railway line and train-spotters will be in their element.

Edale to Grindleford walk OS map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS 100066702

Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you have found this website useful for planning your family adventures, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much!

Also, feel free to share your walk photos in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group or on Instagram using the #peakdistrictkids hashtag so we can share with our wider community.

Or perhaps purchase a Peak District Kids iron-on patch. £1 from every sale of the iron-on patches goes towards the Peak District National Park Foundation, a registered charity established to raise funds to care for the Peak District National Park.

Want more ideas for family walks?
Best Family Walks in the Peak District
Pram Friendly Peak District walks
Toddler walks in the Peak District

Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.